Trailer Spotlight: Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings

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Woo wee!! Thank you Marvel Studios for dropping this high-energy trailer on a sleepy Monday!! This is one of the most anticipated Phase Four of the MCU and if it weren’t for Covid, we should’ve seen Shang-Chi movie by now but the February release had been delayed to September 3, 2021. Poster looks good too, though I can’t help but think of the Olympics with all those rings!

Here’s the short premise per Wiki:

When Shang-Chi is drawn into the clandestine Ten Rings organization, he is forced to confront the past he thought he left behind

Well, behold its first trailer!

Well my first reaction is WHOA!!! I mean it’s a Kung-Fu movie so naturally I’m expecting some high-octane, gravity-defying moves and that’s what we got in this trailer. Directed by Destin Daniel Cretton (Short Term 12, Just Mercy) from a screenplay by David Callaham (Expendables, Mortal Kombat), the film has a mostly-Asian cast led by Simu Liu, including Awkwafina, Tony Leung, Ronny Chieng, and Michelle Yeoh. Having just seen In The Mood For Love recently, I was expecting Leung’s co-star Maggie Cheung to show up here as Shang-Chi’s mother!

Now, based on some videos of Simu Liu I’ve seen so far, he seems like the right actor for the part. The Chinese-Canadian actor seems charismatic and witty in interviews, which I think it important beyond just having the martial art skills. 

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Visually it looks impressive, which is to be expected given the Marvel budget. Some of the scenes reminds me of Inception and The Matrix

… as well as Zhang Yimou’s movies like HERO, House of Flying Daggers, etc. There’s even a scene that reminds me of the neon-lit fight scene in Skyfall. I take it the storyline will take place in multiple timelines, mixing the production design from various ancient/modern. The DP is Bill Pope who’s no stranger to fantasy/comic-book movies

 

Timeline-wise, I’m curious where Shang-Chi fits in within the MCU timeline. It’s possible that it takes place before Avengers: Endgame after the Snap?

It’s a pretty short teaser consisting mostly of action/fight sequences, but I’m hopeful there’ll be a compelling story just like most of movies in the MCU. I have to admit, not being much of a comic reader, I had to search for some videos about the character’s history. This one did a pretty good job explaining it:

One thing for sure I like the casting of Tony Leung who always looks elegant and dignified as Shang-Chi’s father aka The Mandarin/Wenwu who is the leader of the Ten Rings.

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Now, thanks to Wiki, apparently Marvel replaced the comic-book version named Fu Manchu with Wenwu, citing it as a “problematic character” associated with racist stereotypes whom Marvel Studios does not hold the film rights to. I certainly am glad they didn’t stick with Ben Kingsley as the character, that just wouldn’t be right.

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Looking at the way the character is drawn in the comics (released in 1973 by Steve Englehart & Jim Starlin), no doubt the inspiration was Bruce Lee. Per this article, Paul Gulacy, the artist for several issues of Master of Kung Fu, spoke about his desire to honor the legacy of Bruce Lee in his work in an interview for Comic Book Artist Collecti on. The link between Lee and Shang-Chi was so prominent that when plans for a live-action adaptation were in the works, Bruce’s son Brandon Lee was the original actor eyed for the role. Unfortunately, Brandon Lee died on the set of The Crow in 1993 from an on-set accident. I have faith Simu Liu in bringing Shang-Chi character to life. 


I’m certainly excited for this one and can’t wait to see it on the big screen!

How about you?

Disney Investor Day – Marvel trailers + announcements: LOKI, WandaVision, Ms Marvel, Falcon Winter Soldier

Woo wee!! I was quite busy with work yesterday that I didn’t even realize it was Disney Investor Day yesterday. Or you might as well call it ‘Disney-take-all-my-money-Day’ given the drool-worthy Marvel Phase 4 trailers being released, as well as new revelations that got me jumping for joy!

If you missed it, there are a few videos posted on Youtube where Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige introduced all the slates coming in the next year or so:

Man, it’s gotta be good to be Kevin Feige… I mean, how many producers get to be involved with SO MANY films that people can’t wait to see. It’s amazing how Marvel managed to connect their feature film slate with their TV series offerings, as Feige mentioned as the ‘inter-connected-ness of all the stories’ within the universe. It just goes to show how well-managed the Marvel franchise is compared to its rival DC.

Anyhoo, if you’d rather just watch the individual trailers, here are a few I’m super excited about:

LOKI

Out of ALL the Marvel series going to Disney+, LOKI is my most anticipated because I LOVE Tom Hiddleston‘s portrayal. He actually made me love the villain more than the hero (sorry Chris Hemsworth!)

Oh I love the changing font for the LOKI logo, it’s perfect for the god of mischief!

WandaVision

When I first heard of WandaVision series, I was kind of meh about it… that is until I saw the concept, setting it in 1950s as the unlikely couple are living the ideal suburban life in the town of Westview, trying to conceal their powers. Such a freakin’ brilliant concept!! Elizabeth Olsen and Paul Bettany look like they’re having a blast in the roles, and now I can’t wait to see this on January 15, 2021!

Falcon & the Winter Soldier

I’m really hoping this one would be good as I LOVE Anthony Mackie and Sebastian Stan. Captain America is my favorite Marvel trilogy and these are two extremely handsome + talented actors reprising their roles from the franchise, and this trailer looks fun and action-packed. Yet… somehow there’s something wanting, which makes me a bit worried that it won’t be as good as I expected, but hey, I hope they’d prove me wrong come March 19, 2021.


I wish there were a trailer for ShangChi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, the first Asian-led superhero movie, starring the Chinese-Canadian Simu Liu in the title role.

I’m super excited to see an Asian director at the helm, Destin Daniel Cretton (Just Mercy), and starring a bunch of amazing East-Asian actors: Tony Leung, Awkwafina, Michelle Yeoh, Fala Chen, Meng’er Zhang, Florian Munteanu, and Ronny Chieng. Finally, we’ve got representation for the large Asian audience!

Speaking of representation, this is a series I haven’t heard about but am excited about!

A new series called Ms. Marvel, is apparently in the works! Newcomer Iman Vellani will star as Kamala Khan aka Ms. Marvel in the series, which is set to arrive on Disney+ in late 2021! The series will center on Kamala Khan — a 16-year-old Pakistani-American growing up in Jersey City. A great student, avid gamer, and voracious fan-fic scribe, Kamala has a special affinity for Super Heroes, particularly Captain Marvel. Check out the teaser below:


Exciting Announcements

Well this is old news to some, but it’s still cool to see this brilliant casting news confirmed officially! As if we needed another reason to be excited about THOR: Love and Thunder, Christian Bale will be playing the villain, Gorr The God Butcher. Woo hoo!! I guess he’s taking a note from his former co-star & fellow Oscar-winner Cate Blanchett who seemed to have the time of her life playing Thor’s sister/villainess Hela, The Goddess of Death.

This video shows all the announcements for some highly-anticipated shows! I remember a month ago or so, while I was watching PERRY MASON which also stars Tatiana Maslany, there were talks that she’s going to play She Hulk, which she denied. But looks like it IS official that she will portray the character! Interesting to see Tim Roth will reprise his role in The Incredible Hulk as Abomination.

 

I wish they’d released at least a teaser for ETERNALS, which is what Feige said as ‘unexplored territories of the Marvel universe.’ The cast looks amazing!! But I’m equally excited for the director at the helm, Chloé Zhao.

Chloe Zhao w/ the ETERNALS cast at Comic Con 2019

Per IO9, it’s her Manga vision is partly what got her the director’s job. Per the IO9 article, Zhao is quoted as saying “I have such deep, strong, manga roots… I brought some of that into Eternals. And I look forward to pushing more of that marriage of East and West.” That marriage, Zhao thinks, could put Eternals on par—at least thematically—with the last big Marvel movie. “How much further and bigger can we go after Endgame? Because I’m not just making the film as a director. I’m making the film as a fan.”

Whoa!! Now I’m even more excited to see ETERNALS!! But man, such a long wait for this one as it won’t be released until Nov 5, 2021.


Now, not every single announcement got me excited however, this one actually made me LOL-ed and cringe at the same time… ‘Guardians Of The Galaxy’ Holiday Special.

Wait, what?? Apparently James Gunn will also direct this Live-Action Holiday Special in 2022 Before Vol. 3 Arrives in 2023, and he obviously is excited about it. O-kaaay 😀


Well, that’s the scoop about Marvel Phase 5. Which series are you most excited to see?